free html hit counter Google Blogoscoped Bigfooted by SEO Inc. - John Battelle's Search Blog

Google Blogoscoped Bigfooted by SEO Inc.

By - May 05, 2005

GblspedOver at Google Blogoscoped, one of my favorite sites on search, blogger Philipp Lenssen reports that he has been threatened by SEO Inc., a SEO company, for posting widely known facts about the company. He does not have the money to pay for his defense, so he has taken down his original post, which noted that SEO Inc. has apparently been blacklisted from Google’s index, at least as it relates to particular terms like “search engine optimization.” (In fact, a search in Google for “SEO Inc.” does not yield the company’s URL in the first set of results, which is certainly odd.)

If Lenssen, who is based in Germany, had the money to fight these bigfoot tactics, he’d certainly win. Instead of fight, he decided to report what has happened, in the hope others will pick up the flag for him. I found his original post, titled “Fall of SEOInc” in Google’s Cache. I have a PDF of it as well, should the cache get rinsed in time. From the piece, which, in case the SEOInc. lawyers are reading, I quote under principles of fair use, newsworthiness, and commentary:

It’s kind of ironic that, a search engine optimization company which for a while was on the Google number 1 spot for the highly competitive query “search engine optimization”, is now nowhere to be found in the Google results. This is likely due to the recent PageRank update and even more algorithm tweaks implemented by Google. Enter “SEOinc” into, and is nowhere in the top 10; and the PageRank has dropped to “none”. Only by entering “” into Google will you see the site is still indexed in some way.

And while a low or non-existent Google ranking is bad enough for sites outside the SEO industry, it hits everyone in the SEO business twice as hard: not only are SEOInc not being found with search engines anymore, they’ve also lost their biggest proof their services are worth paying for.

Of course, the fact this site has seen the Google death penalty hints that they’ve overoptimized using “black hat” search engine optimization (such as linkfarms, for example). In either case, these days it pays out more than ever to optimize your content and to deliver valid, accessible HTML, without spending a second thought on what search engines may like. They’re just too flaky to be trusted.

As far as I can tell, Philipp’s big crime, according to SEO Inc, was telling the truth. It’s no secret that in some significant way, SEO Inc, which claims on its home page that it can “rank more sites in more top positions than anyone in the business,” has been banned from Google. It’s the title of a thread in Webmasterworld, for example.

Philipp has posted a copy of the threatening letter SEO Inc. sent him here. My two cents: The cat is out of the bag, SEO Inc. Bigfoot letters can’t change the truth.

Funny aside from SEO Inc’s own site (at least last time I checked):

“Want proof? Take the Search Engine Optimization Inc challenge. Go

to Google and search for the term “search engine optimization” or

“search engine placement”! You are going to learn the same technology

and techniques that get us ranked!”

Not any more….

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11 thoughts on “Google Blogoscoped Bigfooted by SEO Inc.

  1. Brian says:

    I hope someone steps forward to offer him help. He didn’t do anything wrong and this is absolutely ludicrous of them.

  2. eJoe23 says:

    They are still at the top of the paid listings. They must have a great firm doing their SEM (cause we all know paid is not SEO). I only hope that people who take the challenge, i.e. those looking for help with there web presence, are knowledgeable enough to realize the difference between SEO and SEM.

  3. Larry Rosenstein says:

    SEO Inc. is based in California, and would undoubtedly file any libel suit there. But CA has some very strong anti-SLAPP laws, which are intended to protect free speech. (See .) It probbly wouldn’t be hard to find a lawyer to take up a case such as this because the law requires that the loser pay the legal fees of the winner.

  4. Big BIll says:

    I can’t see any legal action from SEOINC being any threat. All it can do is publicise their circumstances outside the industry, unlikely to inspire confidence in potential clients, leading ultimately to their imminent demise.
    Meanwhile, the rest of us move up one in the rankings.



    They are now back on the SERPs – for that term – in the top 40 and rising

  6. chan says:

    Hi quite a strange to see so much blogs filled with this news.

  7. davis says:

    It is a difficult period for them. Goto have some sympathy

  8. Sergey Rusak says:

    If Google find that you pay for back links… they can ban your website. How come they never ban companies who accept money for backlinks. (SEO company for example)

  9. Jim says:

    SEO Inc continues to fall.

    About half the company has quit recently and most of who are left seem to be interviewing elsewhere.

    Recent update to the Management team page – … – it looks like a party picture for paid search marketing director and the director of project management just has military bio.

    What is going on over there?

    Looks like a sales company run amuck.

  10. Emlak says:

    They are now back on the SERPs for that term – in the top 40 and rising.